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Hamtramck's Pope Park Prepares for $60K Makeover

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[Photography by Chris and Michelle Gerard]

Roughly $60,000 in improvements are coming to Pope Park, home to one of the most striking monuments in Hamtramck. Installed in 1982, the 6,000-pound-statue honors PopeJohn Paul II, the first pope of Polish descent. He actually visited Hamtramck five years after the statue went up, reportedly giving it a thumbs-up as he cruised by in the Popemobile. The park looking a bit shabby 33 years later, but expect that to change over the summer.

First off, the space's old brick pavers are starting to crack and sink. They'll be replaced with a new, brick-patterned surface, which will also include landscaping. New trees will be planted and additional benches installed, giving the space more functionality. Added lighting will ensure the space glows at night.

The iron fencing surrounding Pope Park will be and reused at Veteran's Memorial Park. It was actually salvaged from the now-demolished Dodge Main Factory, once the heart of HamTown's economy. Finally, the mural will be touched up. Fun Fact: The mural celebrates Polish culture, and its characters were modeled after actual Hamtramck residents at the time of painting.

· City parks will never look the same after this year [Ham Review]
· Major makeover in the works for Pope Park [Ham Review]